Great things come from those who have suffered, and this semi-autobiographical comedy series is based on the “fictional truth” that most comedians are deeply traumatised.
Who better to expose this sad correlation than the brave 34-year-old Mae Martin who has successfully created an intimate and relatable platform first through her stand-up comedy and later with the dramedy she co-wrote, Feel Good.
Initially premiering on Channel Four, the show is also available on Netflix, which oversaw the international distribution of the two-season series.
Despite its title, this show is not your comforting lay-back and relax sitcom, instead it shows its characters’ struggle to ‘feel good’.
And the journey is bumpy, extremely loud and sprinkled with humour. “I am glad you find my pain hilarious,” says the character of Mae Martin who suffers from gender dysphoria.
I suppose like most stand-up performers, Martin’s acting is very direct, transferring hair-raising emotions to the audience with such ease that makes you feel she is a close friend you just haven’t seen in a while.
The interaction among the characters also appears authentic, with Lisa Kudrow giving an amazing and hilarious performance as the mother of the Canadian comedian.
The first season is – admittedly – on the lighter side, tackling with humour issues of gender identity (Mae Martin identifies as non-binary) and focusing on her – or their – relationship with George who is portrayed by Charlotte Ritchie.
But a strong stomach might be a requirement for viewers of the second season, which delves deeper into addiction and dependency but mainly on childhood trauma and supressed memories.
The themes are mirrored in the choice of music and sounds, featuring mainly indie rock artists.
However, the most important achievement of the show is that it is in itself, without meaning to be, an answer to the long-standing question tormenting abuse survivors who decide to speak up at an unspecified time after the actual event. And for those who choose silence.
Even though a third season is not expected soon, there is still hope the creators might decide to come back to the story after years and put the characters in a different situation. Because why not? It’s all fluid.